"Advertising is the very essence of democracy." — Anton Chekhov

I came across that quote because of my least-favourite form of marketing: using Twitter to follow individuals, then unfollowing them, hoping that they followed you back. (It's pretty much the equivalent of a pump-and-dump scheme, but that's for another blog post.) Trying to find the source, I also came across a more recent author who said the same thing, but I was unable to find the original context.

Out of context, it's very hard to figure out what Chekhov was implying. Was this said in a positive light? Was it about how one of democracy's flaws is that public opinion is easily swayed by advertising? Is it saying advertising is bad? Or is it good?

​Four years ago today, I had brain surgery.

Once, in round-table discussion with several people from various walks of life, we were discussing some large problem with society. (I don't remember which, but it's not important.) Knowing that, in that circle of friends, I tend to not have very popular views, I was quiet and just observed the discussion. After each person had shared their points of view, which were all similar and did not have a good chance of success, I was asked what my opinion was. I said, "Maybe what we need is some sort of end-of-world scenario, like a full-scale local war, major natural disaster, or some type of apocalyptic event. Then society could rebuild itself, learn from the mistakes of the past, and prevent them from happening."

…that's not in person, is email. Here's why:

  1. Distributed
    Email isn't based on a central system. If Facebook was to go down, or get hacked, no one using Facebook's messages as their main way to communicate could talk. Sure, Microsoft and Google (combined) run more than half of the active individual accounts (citation needed), but they don't have to be functional for one person to send a message to another.

No Agenda is a great show, but it's biggest downside is the fact that so many of the stories discussed are long and ongoing, making it hard for a first-time listener to jump in. That's why Adam and John did episode 200.5. It was meant to be an introduction to how the show works and all the little peculiarities.

Rick Falkvinge:

People who don’t care for their privacy are missing a vital piece of the puzzle: everybody is safeguarding their own privacy and key pieces of others’ privacy. By belittling the need for their own privacy and right to keep secrets, they are also saying that nobody else should ever trust a secret to them.

Last Sunday, the season finale of the new TV series UnREAL aired. As a dark comedy written as a behind-the-scenes look at the sculpted realities of a fictional "reality" show similar to The Bachelor, it is a worthy watch on many levels and for many audiences.

Here's three types of person that should watch UnREAL:

Brian Holdsworth has some good points on how to be a Christian in a non-Christian world:

People want to discover truth for themselves, so give them a reason to start looking. Ultimately, people just want to be happy and when they notice that you seem to be happy a lot, they’ll want to know how they can access the same trigger points and that will become your opportunity to respond by telling them about the hope that does not fail.

Unfortunately, in North America, the Church, too often, takes the approach of trying to dictate the conventions of society. We like to assume that the culture around us is fundamentally Christian and when it begins to embrace some sort of attitude or idea that opposes Christianity, we like to protest and become combative.

There are two easy options when you want to infringe on someone's rights.